How to create a safe space when your child/ friend comes out to you as LGBTQ+ ?

                                            The process of coming out to people can be terrifying at times. Many families are unaccepting of queer children and many have lost friends during the process of coming out. Due to the homophobia present in a large section of the society, queer lives suffer discrimination in work place , at home, among friends and more. Therefore, when a person comes out to another, it is important to remember a few vital points about how to make the person comfortable and safe after they share this part of themself.

 Thank them for trusting you and talking to you about it- Most queer people are afraid of negative reactions while coming out to even the most loved ones. Therefore, thank them for choosing you and trusting you, assure them you will be there for them no matter what.

Talk to them about their experience and how they are feeling after coming out to you– Let your child/ friend open up about their journey, let them talk freely. Offer and support your friend/ child while they come out to others.

Refrain from asking questions that are unnecessary insensitive and inappropriate- ‘How did you know? What if it’s a phase? What was it like being with someone of your own gender?’ Do not ask invalidating questions which might make them feel different from others around them. If heterosexuals do not have to answer these questions, nobody in the spectrum should.

Ask politely if there are any new sexual orientation terms ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, etc.) they prefer for themselves.

Include them and their partner in things you do- As As in a lot of cases queer people are estranged from their parents and some friends after coming out, it’s important you make them feel liked, wanted and cared for.

                                 Regardless of one’s sexual orientation it is extremely important that one stands up for humanity, equality, and justice. Queer lives and the authenticity of their sexuality is not a debate, it is a basic human right and must be respected and supported by all. Learn about the LGBTQI+ community so that you can be educated about them and be well equipped to support your friend. Help your friends meet more queer folks you know personally, so they can have people to talk to who understand exactly where they’re coming from.

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